Saturday, September 1, 2007

I Should Have Been A Plumber


Hubster told me just how much I've spent on yarny goodness in the past three months. I was floored. And here I thought I was doing better. Unfortunately for me, he just accessed the PayPal site and looked at all the orders I've placed. He didn't even have to add them up; PayPal was kind enough to do that for him. He wasn't angry, but he did point out that we're supposed to be saving for a down payment. At this rate, I'll never have a house again. I was incredibly depressed. So what did I do? You guessed it. I placed an order for some more yarn.

Be that as it may, part of the haul that I've already paid for (and Hubster has already seen) arrived yesterday. I could only photograph a little of it because some of it is for my Monkey Swap Pal (I know you see this - ~~~waves!). So here is the little bit I can share.

You've heard of the Bee Shawl? Well, that pattern is for the Bee Stole, and the yarn in front of it is by Wooly Wonka in Tupelo Gold. I've got enough patterns for shawls, so I decided to try something a little different. The other yarn is by Sunnyside Ellen, and the color is Non-Fat Latte. I thought it was gorgeous.

Here's a close-up of the Bee Stole pattern:

This is my "Do Not Disturb" project.

I had an appointment at 6:00 p.m., so after that was over, we decided to go to Walnut Creek and visit Barnes & Noble. I hadn't been to that particular store, and since Walnut Creek is now a mecca for yuppies, I figured it would be large and very nice. Indeed it was. I had seen a book posted on another blog and wanted to try and find it. They had it, along with another book (pictured here):

For those of you who are as blind as I'm getting, the larger book is "Vogue Knitting - The Ultimate Sock Book", and the smaller is "The Secret Language of Knitters" by Mary Beth Temple. The Vogue book is predictably beautiful and gives history, techniques, and lots of beautiful sock patterns. The other book is hysterical. It gives common words we knitters use and defines them. With full credit being given to the author, here is one such definition:

"FINISHED OBJECT (FO) noun: The holy grail of knitting. Difficult to attain, not because of the knitting part but because of the finished part. Finished means completely finished - ends woven in, SEAMS sewn up, buttons sewn on. Some folks even put a cute little label in the back. No cheating by calling the loose ends FRINGE and the lack of buttons a DESIGN MODIFICATION. For an object to be truly finished, it needs to require no further work."

The words in caps are in small print and bold in the book; I just can't figure out how to make this damn computer make things bold. Of course, just like a real dictionary, the bold words are also listed with their own definitions. It's a quick read, fun to see that we're not nuts when we throw things across the room ("throwing" is also defined"), and makes a perfect gift for that special knitter (or husband who doesn't understand) in your life.

After we finished at the book store, we walked the streets (and I didn't make a cent) for a bit to see what stores were there. What stores WEREN'T there? Tiffany, Pottery Barn (in all it's permutations), William-Sonoma (where I picked up a professional deep-fryer and some odds and ends), every clothing store you can think of that doesn't sell jeans for less than a bill a pair, blah blah blah. I used to cruise that very part of town when I was in high school, and farmers would stop their trucks going in opposite directions in the middle of the road to shoot the breeze. I'm sad to see that it's turned into what it has. My old hometown did the same thing. I wish they would leave just ONE town the way it always was.

Anyway, on to the title of this rant.

As you all know, I knit two socks on two circulars. One of the cardinal lessons I grind into my students' heads is to make sure that they follow the needle they're using from working tip to loose tip so that they use the same needle. Otherwise, if they grab the other needle and knit, they're going to wind up with a circle made of the cables and held firmly together by the two socks. I have never done this particular maneuver. I've always been careful to use the correct needle. Until tonight.

As usual, I dozed off in the Monster with my knitting in my hands. Upon waking, I began to knit again. I finished knitting the side of the sock I was on. When I got to the end, I expected the cables to do their usual thing so I could knit the second side of the second sock. Instead, what was hanging from my hand was an interesting contraption made of a sock on top, a perfect circle in the middle, and another sock on the bottom. I had broken the cardinal rule I've taught for three years. I grabbed the wrong needle because I was drowsy and not paying attention. I had made a sock needle circle.

What to do? I stared at it in horror, reached for a spare circular needle, and transferred the stitches of the side of the sock which had to be knit on to it. Then I stared at it for a while longer because for the life of me, I couldn't figure out which needle to put the stitches on so I could continue knitting and have them fall free when I was done, thereby allowing me to turn the whole thing around and begin on the opposite sides. Hubster the mathematician and computer genius came over, studied the problem for a few minutes, and after I had explained what was supposed to happen, held up one of the needles and proclaimed that that was definitely (with strong emphasis on the word "definitely") the correct needle to put the stitches on. I followed his advice and wound up with both needles perfectly parallel to each other, exactly as I had started once I first transferred stitches. He was shocked. He was horrified. He was befuddled. This couldn't be, he said. He had brainstormed the problem, done the necessary mathematical calculations in his head, and come up with the answer. Whereupon I looked at it again (now I was awake), grabbed one of the needles, transferred the stitches on to it, knitted them, and had both needles fall free, ready to turn for the other side of the socks. Hubster stared at me slack-jawed. He mumbled something like, "But what I told you to do should have worked.". Then he congratulated me for fixing the problem and retreated to his computer, still muttering about how stupid knitting was.

For my part, I was glad that the problem had been solved. However, it took two intelligent adults an hour to figure out a very simple problem (hence, the lateness of this post). I remained calm throughout the entire ordeal and explained things to him as I would to one of my students. What I wanted to do was to THROW (definition in aforementioned book) the damned thing against the wall. But I might have broken off one of the points of my needles, and at $15 a pop, that would have been a bad idea.

Which brings me to the title of this post.

I should have been a plumber.


Kellie said...

You approach your depressing moments much the same way I It is therapy I say. And hey, if we go to therapy and spend 120 and hour every week, just buy yarn instead I say.

I want to learn to do socks on two circs. Too chicken. Too bad you don't live closer.

Congrats on the beautiful new yarn!! Sorry about your woes of late! I've started knitting the monkeys on my new LL yarn. I LOVE IT!

Enjoy the rest of your holiday weekend :)

Pam the Yarn Goddess said...

Yeah, I'm afraid I do tend to shop. Too much. And the greater majority of it is sock yarn.

I taught myself how to do the two sock/two circ thing using Queen Kahuna's (aka Mary Ann Beattie) book. It's called something like "Crazy Toes, Crazy Heels" and is available online. It has tons of pictures and is meant for people who are visual learners.

I'm really happy you like knitting with the Lorna's. Isn't it yummy? I love it, too - such beautiful colors!